Having chickens is becoming a very popular thing to do for many with space and time to do so. Imagine waking up to beautifully fresh laid eggs to enjoy for your breakfast or listening to the sound of your feathered friends as they enjoy your outdoor space. Chickens are known for being full of character, which makes them wonderful additions to your home or smallholding. Just like anything, owning chickens for the first time can seem a little daunting and overwhelming, but with the following tips, you’ll find having chickens a fun, easy, and enjoyable experience.
Chicks over Eggs
First things first, you want to start your chicken owning journey with some adorable chicks, rather than starting with eggs. Whilst many enjoy the whole process of watching the eggs hatch and grow, this can be quite a challenging process and for first-time owners, it’s going to be easier to start with a healthy selection of chicks. Once you have the confidence and experience with chickens, you could look to introduce some eggs further down the line.
When looking to purchase your chicks, there are a few options available to you. Often, your local farm or feed store may be a good option for you, but you need to show your interest so that they can inform you when they have the chicks ready to purchase. Alternatively, you can look online at trusted sites such as Murray McMurray’s Hatchery for a range of chicks that can be delivered to you.
You want your chickens to be comfortable and content in their coops, but you also need to make sure you don’t go overboard and create a space that’s overwhelming to them. It’s very easy to get carried away when creating your chicken coop but stick to the basics, to begin with, and you can add more as you go. Every chicken coop should have a protective surrounding to keep your birds safe from unwanted visitors such as foxes, as well as having plenty of room for your chickens to roam around.
It’s also important to include key pieces of poultry equipment including poultry feeders and the right bedding to keep your chickens clean and comfortable. Take a look at online agricultural retailer Wynnstay to see what type of poultry essentials are available to help you kit out your chicken coop.
Clean and Tidy
Just as you would with any animals, it’s important to keep your chickens and their coop clean. There’s nothing worse than a messy, smelly coop that’s unhygienic and unsafe for the chickens, so it’s beneficial to create a daily cleaning schedule for you to go and spruce up the coop. This would involve fresh bedding being added frequently and a thorough clean-up of any general mess that’s been created within the coop. If you have dirty nesting boxes, then your eggs will end up dirty too and this isn’t something you want to happen. Your chicken should be living in a clean, fresh space for them to stay happy and healthy.
Create a Routine
Chickens like to have a routine, just like humans do, so it’s beneficial to create a routine for your chickens to keep them happy. Dedicate a specific time each day to visit your chickens, pay them some attention, fill their water tanks, give them fresh bedding and collect their eggs. Your chickens will begin to look forward to this time each day, knowing they can expect your visit and know when their food/water will be replenished. You’ll also find it much easier to keep on top of things having a clear routine in place.